Last night's championship was the biggest (and best) bowl game of the season, but it didn't deliver the ratings of the 2015 title game.
Semifinal ratings fell 36% after the College Football Playoff inexplicably held firm to its "new tradition" of New Year's Eve games.
Though America wasn't ringing in a new year on Monday night, overnight ratings were still down over last year's Ohio State–Oregon contest (18.6 rating).
Source: Last night's CFP championship game pulled a 15.8 overnight rating on ESPN, down 15 percent from last year.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 12, 2016
Championship ratings: Duke-Wisconsin (CBB): 17.1 overnight (CBS). Alabama-Clemson (CFB): 15.8 overnight (ESPN).— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 12, 2016
Perhaps this is the blood debt to be paid by the CFP for excluding Ohio State, the sport's ratings king.